Broncos Update Insider - April 13

Jay Cutler's criticism of receiver Brandon Marshall drew a lot of attention, including from former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.

"I was surprised to hear it, actually," Elway said.

Cutler was critical of Marshall on April 1, saying Marshall was running out of chances with the team and he had to stay out of trouble. Cutler said he had told Marshall the same thing.

Elway said he learned during his career that using that approach rarely ends well.

"I've tried to settle things in the press, and looking back over the years that's not the right way to do it," Elway said. "Especially with teammates. Those are things you talk to him about."

However, Elway did say he appreciated that Cutler felt strongly enough about the situation to go public with his disappointment.

"I was also impressed with the fact that it means something to him enough to come out and say something about it, which I think is something the Broncos need," Elway said.

Elway, who is still in Denver as the CEO of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush, is often asked about his former team and the quarterback situation. Elway has praised Cutler before, saying he might be the one to make people forget about Elway's glory days.

Elway knows that when Cutler called out Marshall, it was, in part, Cutler's way of taking control of the team.

"They're obviously going to ask him to be the leader," Elway said.

--The Denver Broncos will come to training camp with a new-look offensive line.

The biggest difference will be at left tackle. Right now Denver has Chris Kuper penciled into that position. Kuper started most of last season at left guard. Making the adjustment one position to his left will be difficult but he won't worry much about it.

"I just have to play, it doesn't matter where I'm lined up," Kuper said.

Kuper did play left tackle his senior year in college. Denver is looking for a left tackle because Matt Lepsis retired this offseason.

The Broncos have other options if Kuper doesn't work out. Ryan Harris was a third-round pick last year and has the talent to play left tackle if his back holds up. Erik Pears started at left tackle two years ago when Lepsis was hurt, but moved to right tackle last year and is probably better suited there.

Left tackle isn't the only position that will change. Tom Nalen and Ben Hamilton are veterans, but last year they each missed most of the season. Hamilton suffered a concussion early in training camp and never returned to the field. As long as he continues to feel fine, he'll be back at left guard this season.

Nalen suffered a season-ending arm injury early in the season and was also put on injured reserve. Nalen should return this season, but the player who took his spot won't.

Chris Myers, who started 16 games at guard and center, was traded to Houston. He was a restricted free agent and the Broncos were not going to pay to keep him, so the trade was worked out for equal compensation. Veteran Casey Wiegmann was signed to compete at center after Myers was traded.

Right guard Montrae Holland could be the only player to be at the same position for the last game of the 2007 season and the season opener in 2008.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Former Broncos quarterback John Elway understands that some fans might be upset that the team hasn't made any huge moves this offseason, but he knows the commitment is there.

"They're doing what they think is going to help, in the long run, to get them better," Elway said. "If that takes a couple years, if they're looking three or four years down the line, or if they're looking next year, I don't know. But I just know every time they make a move, they're trying to do it for positive reasons."

--Broncos defensive tackle Marcus Thomas still hasn't been officially charged on possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested March 1. The arraignment has been pushed back a few times, and is currently scheduled for April 16.

--The Broncos preseason schedule includes visits from the Cowboys and Packers, two of the best teams in the NFC last year. Those two home games will be the second and third of the preseason for Denver. The Broncos will open with a trip to Houston and finish the preseason with a game against Arizona.

Denver has played Arizona five of the past six preseasons, and has played Houston four of the past five preseasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I just know, having been in that organization for 16 years, they're not trying to get worse. They're trying to get better." -- Former Broncos quarterback John Elway.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

1. Defensive tackle: Without much left in free agency, the Broncos could use the draft to add some depth on the interior line. The legal situation involving Marcus Thomas also could be a major problem at defensive tackle, which is already a position of need. Veteran Alvin McKinley should return as one starter, and Thomas will probably start if he's still with the team.

2. Safety: John Lynch is back for another season, but probably only one more. The team likes Hamza Abdullah at the other safety, but he's still inexperienced and will have to make strides this season. A veteran signee could fill the gap between the present and the future.

3. Linebacker: Once the Broncos add to their linebacking corps, they'll have a better idea if they can move D.J. Williams back to his natural outside linebacker position. Niko Koutouvides could be a replacement in the middle, and it's hoped Boss Bailey will win the other outside spot. Denver released Ian Gold, who was coming off a poor season, but that does make the Broncos a bit thinner at linebacker.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--TE Stephen Alexander is very unlikely to be back, he will probably retire.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--LB Boss Bailey: UFA Lions; $17.5M/5 yrs, $4.35M SB.
--WR Keary Colbert: UFA Panthers: $7.3M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--LB Niko Koutouvides: UFA Seahawks; $7.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--S Marquand Manuel: UFA Panthers; $4.5M/3 yrs, $500,000 guaranteed.
--S Marlon McCree: FA Chargers; terms unknown.
--C Casey Wiegmann: UFA Chiefs; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--S Hamza Abdullah: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--DE Ebenezer Ekuban: UFA; 1 YR, terms unknown.
--DE John Engelberger: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Domonique Foxworth: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--TE Nate Jackson: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--CB Karl Paymah: Potential RFA; $972,000/1 yr.
--OT Erik Pears: Potential ERFA; terms unknown.
--FB Cecil Sapp: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

PLAYERS LOST
--K Jason Elam: UFA Falcons; $9M/4 yrs, $3.3M SB.
--S Nick Ferguson: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Ian Gold (released).
--LB Warrick Holdman (released).
--OT Matt Lepsis (retired).
--C Chris Myers: RFA; traded Texans.
--WR Javon Walker (released).



Got something to say - Voice your opinion on any one of our
Broncos Update Community Forums
< br>







Mile High Huddle Top Stories